Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Celebrating the achievements of women

On 8 March, thousands of events are being held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate their achievements as part of International Women’s Day.

Over the last millennia, there has been a significant change in behaviour and attitude towards women’s equality and emancipation in both women and society in general. There are more women in the boardroom, greater equal rights, and an increase of women as positive role models in every aspect of life. Yet, women are still not paid as much as men, are under-represented in business and politics, and their education and health, globally, is worse than that of men.

However, there have been great improvements. Way back when who would have thought we’d have female prime ministers or that girls would be accepted into university let alone that women would have a family and work and enjoy it.

Indeed, a recent study conducted by a female associate professor of women/gender studies at the University of Louisville found most employed mothers would work even if they didn't have to as they recognised the benefits they, and their children gained from employment. Most women regardless of their class, race/ethnicity, marital status or income level stated they would chose to work (at least part time) even if it wasn’t necessary. Both married and single mothers believed they gained self-confidence and more fulfilment from working than parenting alone, which is why they chose to go to work.

Most mothers who enjoyed their careers (including high-powered professionals) purposely sought out jobs in which employers did not demand they worked unreasonable hours so that they could remain connected to their children. Although some women in this study did express feelings of guilt about going to work, most felt that it made them more fulfilled people and, in turn, better mothers.

However, this study highlights there may still be some way to go before men and women are truly equal. Researchers found mothers still undertook about twice as much childcare and housework as their male partners.

First Psychology has counselling and psychology centres in:

Edinburgh: 0131-668-1440, www.edinburghtherapy.co.uk
Glasgow: 0141-404-5411, www.glasgowpsychology.co.uk
Aberdeen: 01224-452848, www.aberdeenpsychology.co.uk
Borders: 01896-800-400, www.borderspsychology.co.uk

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